More on MPAA and Net neutrality
MPAA chief Dan Glickman doesn't speak for the movie industry, technically. His clients are the MPAA's dues-paying members, the major Hollywood studios. And the interests of those studios -- all owned by giant conglomerates -- don't necessarily align with their smaller brethren, just as the RIAA often parts ways on policy matters with the indie labels. A good illustration of this is a letter to Glickman released today by Jean Prewitt, president of the Independent Film and Television Alliance. She blasted Glickman for coming out against Net neutrality regulations earlier this week in a speech to theater owners. You can download the letter here, or just check out the money line:
The issue is not whether the government should regulate the Internet but whether there will be effective oversight to prevent a handful of corporate giants from imposing their own version of private regulation to the public's detriment.
Not that the indies particularly mind the use of government regulatory power: last year IFTA called on the FCC to require networks to devote at least 25% of their programming lineups to shows from unaffiliated producers (Download here). Nevertheless, independent studios have a clear interest in Net neutrality rules that would prevent larger players from buying preferential treatment for their websites and online services, particularly with the opportunities dimming on cable, satellite and broadcast TV for smaller programmers. As Prewitt put it, "Allowing the Internet to become the exclusive province of a small number of large companies would inevitably harm the future of independent art and commerce."
If Glickman releases a reply, I'll update this post to include it.